Councillors agree massive cuts to Wandsworth housing department
Councillors rubber-stamped plans to slash £43m from next year's budget last night, with dozens of redundancies to follow.
The full council meeting, which took place in Wandsworth Town Hall, saw councillors agree to merge four departments into two.
Opposition councillors requested to make an amendment to the number of cuts being made to the housing department, but Conservative voted against the motion.
A total of 74 posts are being axed within the department, to make a saving of £1,872,820, which includes two senior officers.
There will be 30 more jobs created, resulting in 44 people being moved to other departments or made redundant.
Labour councillors claimed the cuts will cause more people to become homeless and forced into staying in temporary accommodation for longer.
Councillor Mark Thomas said: "Wandsworth is in the middle of a growing housing crisis.
"All in all more than 3,000 private rents have been affected, more than 2,000 tenants by the bedroom tax.
"Staff themselves have said give than the number of homeless people is expected to increase, to reduce the size of the team is illogical and totally non-strategic."
Councillor Paul Ellis, cabinet member for housing, said: "We will do all we can to avoid reductions wherever possible. However, savings do need to be made in the general fund."
Environmental services are also being moved to become part of the public health division, with a number of services, such as noise pollution checks, being slashed.
In January councillors will discuss proposals to cut the number of committee meetings, council papers available and the number of papers submitted to committees.
A final budget for next year will be published in February, 2014.
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